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Fizz Alert – Your Favorite Diet Sodas Are Bad For You

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 29, 2016 12:00:00 AM / by Katie Kiely

You need it. You want it. You gotta have it. The can is in place, and you’re ready to pop the top, anticipating your refreshing, thirst-quenching fizz fix. Oh, no! What’s that sound? Whoop! Whoop! Whooop! Step away from the can! We repeat… step… away… from… the… can! 


The alarm has sounded and the bubble has burst. Many diet sodas are bad for you, contributing to serious health issues such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, weak bones, diabetes and lymphoma! With ingredients such as flame retardant – we kid you not! – wood resin, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, carcinogenic dyes, and one of our favorites, propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent and food stabilizer also used in antifreeze to de-ice planes, we’re going on high fizz alert.

Let’s pour ourselves a healthy glass of reality as we take a look at a few of the worst diet sodas that are also some of our favorites.

Root Cause
Some say root beer is an acquired taste, while others like to float the subject with ice cream. With zero calories and zero sugar, Diet Barq’s Root Beer boasts ingredients such as caramel color, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace K) and artificial flavors. Ace K is NOT okay! It’s a zero-calorie sweetener that often shows up with sucralose or aspartame to create flavor that tastes closer to sugar. And, it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar! Although the FDA does not recognize Ace K as a carcinogen, some experts disagree. Ace K can also be found in Diet Pepsi, Fresca and Coke’s Zero line.

How Nutrasweet It Is
Your health is not this doctor’s priority. Diet Dr. Pepper uses an aspartame (nutrasweet) count of 123mg, one of the highest amounts found in major diet soda brands. Although the extra-sweet taste may delight your palate and satisfy your sweet crave, it may also cause your pancreas to release insulin. Since insulin is your body’s primary fat-storage hormone, this could actually prevent weight loss, causing you to hold on to extra fat. Even if you watch what you eat, you can still gain weight drinking diet soda!

Don’t Dew It
Think 50mg of sodium in a 12-fluid-ounce can of Diet Mountain Dew can be problematic? That’s nothing compared to ingesting flame retardant! Better known as brominated vegetable oil or BVO, this patented flame retardant for plastics is banned in Japan and Europe. BVO, used in citrus-flavored soda as an emulsifier that prevents flavors from separating and floating to the surface, increases cancer risks, causes skin rashes and lesions and is a known endocrine disruptor contributing to thyroid problems. Within all of this health horror is some good news! PepsiCo and Coca-Cola recently agreed to remove BVO from all of their beverages in the near future.

Bubble Trouble
In an effort to get a diet cola that tasted like Coke, Coca-Cola created Coca-Cola Zero, uniquely flavored with 58mg of aspartame and 31mg of Ace K! Same issue here as with Diet Barq’s Root Beer, so we’ll address the trouble of coloring our bubbles with caramel color. Added to many soft drinks to turn them a deep brown, most people assume the caramel is a form of caramel candy. Unlike Coke, it’s not the real thing. It’s an artificial coloring, containing a potentially carcinogenic chemical.

Can It!
Another reason why your favorite diet sodas are bad for you is the inclusion of the ingredient phosphoric acid. Found in all carbonated soft drinks, phosphoric acid is linked to tooth enamel erosion, low bone mineral density and a twofold risk of developing kidney disease.

Here’s to canning diet soda for good!


Topics: Healthy Eating

Katie Kiely

Written by Katie Kiely